Wednesday, October 31, 2012


The day's impressive thundershowers and dark skies are certainly adding that special je ne sais quoi to our Halloween here at the gallery. Not to mention the looping screams and horrible monster sounds that are now on repeat.
Are YOU dressed up at work today?
We are... sorta....   
Adriana, the BBQ chef, serving crow.
Adriana... the.... not really sure what's happening here. Shark Showercap.
Adriana, the creepy Movember Scotsman?
Stabby lady.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Skies The Limit!

There's still time to see the incredible show that's been on display in our lower gallery, "skies the limit"! If you found the nocturne crowds to be a tad overwhelming, then there's no better time than NOW to make your trip in to see this body of work. Featuring artists, Bryanna Chapeski, Mary Garoutte, Andy MacDonald, Gordon MacDonald, Shelley Mitchell and of course, Mark Brennan! Here are a few of the works now showing: 

Night Lights by Bryanna Chapeski

Paper Engine by Byanna Chapeski

Nocturne by Shelley Mitchell

A Break in The Sky by Mary Garoutte

Shrouded by Mary Garoutte

Reciprocating Engine by Mary Garoutte

HMCS Sackville (Brown) by Andy MacDonald
HMCS Sackville (Blue) by Andy MacDonald
Lights of Dartmouth by Mark Brennan

Monday, October 29, 2012

For the love of Inuit Art-How it All Began

John Houston: A Life in Inuit Art

Opening Talk and Reception: Thursday, November 8th, 7pm-9pm
Show continues until November 22nd

Please join us for an exciting exhibit of carefully selected Inuit sculptures and original prints selected by John Houston.  On Thursday, November 8th, you will have a rare opportunity to hear first hand, the story of Inuit Art in Canada from John Houston. Learn about the history of Inuit art  and discover it's beauty by from personal stories told by John.  The Houston Family has more than 60 years of artistic collaboration with the Inuit of Canada, beginning in the 1950s when John’s parents, James Houston and Alma Houston, brought world recognition to the art of the Inuit people.

Many people that know me,  may also know that my life in the professional arts world began in my hometown of Lunenburg. I was working at a small cafe, where I had met Alma Houston, the owner of world renown Inuit Art Gallery, Houston North Gallery, which just so happened to be in my small town. Tourists from all over the world would visit this gallery. It was a very exciting place.

I looked forward to talking to Alma about all sorts of every day things- but I especially liked hearing her  exciting stories of the Arctic and the people she had met when she lived there.  She was a strong but caring, fair business woman whom I had come to admire and respect in my community. Come to think of it, she was one of very few female business owners in the town at the time-a true role-model. One day, she asked me to consider working for her. I remember saying, "I don't know anything about art"-- a common response to art that I hear often in my own gallery from people visiting for the first time.  My response to them, is the same one Alma told me, "You just have to know what you like and keep exploring and looking and learning".

 I worked at the gallery for years, even when I was attending university in Halifax.  I learned so much in these years about the business of art and the art of working with others, it was invaluable. Alma and I became good friends. I miss her. It's hard to believe she's been gone since 1997, but I still hear her voice often, sometimes commenting or offering advice on what to do next in this demanding world of business and art I find myself in now. I am so thankful to Alma and Houston North Gallery for giving me this gift of the love of art.

I was saddened to learn that Houston North Gallery closed it's doors this past year. Alma's son, John, and co-owner of the gallery, had maintained it for many years, but all good things come to an end. This is a hard business!  However the love of Inuit art and culture lives in John Houston.

 I connected with John this year, and asked if he'd be open to sharing some of his stories of growing up in the North and some special works from their collection. He agreed, and so on Thursday, November 8th, 7-9pm  John Houston will be at the gallery to share his knowledge and personal stories with us all.  I'm delighted and hope you will be too!

 Many young collectors probably haven't had a chance to learn about this art form or touch the stones that have been transformed into visual stories and represent an important part  of Canadian Art History-this is a wonderful way to discover this art form, or re-discover it if you are a collector of the past . A very special grouping of works will be for sale throughout the show..

We hope you will join us on Thursday, November 8th. The show continues until November 22nd at Argyle Fine Art. 

-Adriana Afford; Owner of Argyle Fine Art

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Musicians, Memories and Morsels with Lana Grant today at Argyle Fine Art!

At Argyle Fine Art, we like to embrace all forms of art and music has certainly played an important role at the gallery. At our old gallery location, we actually hosted a music series called SIGHT ON SOUND- which encouraged musicians and visual artists to work with each other to create interesting programs.

Argyle Fine Art is happy to present another fine collaboration of musician Lana Grant ( along with some other fine musicians and a dedicated designer to bring you a unique collection of recipes and food stories from a wide array of East Coast musicians, in their own words!

  Lana will be on hand TODAY to tell you about the book, share some inside info about who is involved in the project and may be bringing some food for you to taste to, from her kitchen for today's CITY HARVEST at Argyle Fine Art,   and you can pre-order it today at Argyle Fine Art for holiday giving! .  

Lana will be at the gallery from 1:30pm-3:30pm.  Please drop by and get your book ordered. Books will be available on December 1st, with launches to happen throughout the province.

Musician Lana Grant

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Leaves, Fruit, Puppets, Robots, Rayguns, Birds.....and oh so much more!!!


All day today, you'll have a chance to meet artists with their work AND enjoy a puppet show too!  Read the blog post just before this one for all the detailed details!  Hope to see you today-it's a lovely day for some art!

ARTISTS you'll meet today are:

Donn Sabean-Textile Artist

George Spencer- Painter

Nick Brunt-Painter

Ed Beals- Sculptor

Basil Doucette- Folk Artist

Mike Diabo- Musician

and Scott- the puppeteer!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

CITY HARVEST this Saturday and Sunday at Argyle Fine Art

Greetings everyone!  We're busy preparing for a wonderful weekend here at Argyle Fine Art. It's CITY HARVEST TIME!  What's City Harvest you ask? It's a celebration of all local downtown businesses, who are offering many wonderful sales, special promotions, live artist demonstrations and cheap eats too. All the details on the event are HERE  but wait!!  Read about what we're offering on both days first!

Saturday, October 27th


Meet Artist Donn Sabean and George Spencer. They will both be on hand to showcase the latest works by them.  Their works make wonderful gifts for everyone on your list.

Donn Sabean creates wearable art in the form of scarves and more, created by using nature herself- Fall Leaves in fact. The results are stunning!

George Spencer is a farily new artist to the gallery-but his work doesn't last long when it arrives. He will be showcasing a suite of new works, with the promise of others to come before gift-giving season. Beat the rush and find that perfect piece.



Join the SINGING COWS on their adventure. A special friend of the gallery is just so creative with his special show of original puppets and music, that we thought this Saturday would be the perfect time to showcase it. Pull up a chair and enjoy!


Did you try to get into the gallery during Nocturne? If you weren't one of the lucky thousands to see the show, now's your chance!  AND you'll get to meet the artists that created all the robots, rockets and rayguns. Nick Brunt and Ed Beals will be on hand to say hi and show you their work. Ed has made a new Fold-ED (folded paper robot) called SANTA BOT...just in time to save the holidays....

Mike Diabo will also be on hand, and plans on recording sounds within the gallery that afternoon. He is the musician that created the soundtrack for this show. You can download the tunes by clicking HERE

OTHER SPECIAL THINGS:  We're starting to sell VOUCHERS for PRE-SHRUNK!  Get them before they're gone and be ahead of the line in the New Year! 

We'll also have 10% off Gift Certificates on both Saturday and Sunday!

GRAB BAGS for $15 by Tara Campbell....great goodies to be had!

SUNDAY, October 28th, 1:30pm-3:30pm

Meet musician Lana Grant and pre-order an amazing upcoming book, featuring favourite recipes and stories by some of East Coast's favourite musicians called "Musicians, Memories and Morsels"  Limited copies will be printed, so get your order in now! Books will be available December 1st.

See you this WEEKEND at the GALLERY!   
Open Saturday 10am-5:30pm and Sunday from 12-4pm

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Brunt and Beals, like peas in a pod.

Well, sort of anyhow... There is no question that Nick Brunt and Ed Beals have styles that are distinctly their own, but when placed together, there are commonalities that start to surface. Their collaborative show, "Retro Robots Rockets and Rayguns" is a terrific example of how they both channel nostalgia and boyish wonder. The result is super duper fun. SEE?!?!  

 *oh I should mention in case it wasn't clear... Nick Brunt is the artist who has created the paintings, while Ed Beals has created the sculptures. Come see the works in their full cardboard displayed glory! We're open from 10-5:30 Tuesday - Saturday. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Barry Colpitts

Barry has been a very busy guy these days, but lucky for us, he has managed to produce a series of wee little folk carvings to sustain us for the next few weeks. If you've been on the hunt for a new piece by Barry Colpitts, I suggest you take a jump at one of these little guys.. I doubt they'll last long. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Remember that thing that happened called NOCTURNE?!?!!

It's almost been a week now since Nocturne, and we're still coasting on the electricity felt that evening. We cant give you a real head count, but from our estimation, we figure that we easily had over 3000 visitors stroll through the gallery between 6pm and 12am.

 HA! my one and only shot of the night. Blurry, but accurate. 

To quickly recap, let me tell you that we had a number of exhibitions on show that evening: On the main level was Nick Brunt and Ed Beal's super fun "Retro Robots, Rockets and Rayguns", while the lower level had a serene group show titled "Skies the Limit". Oh, let's not forget the work aboard the HMCS Sackville too! So many incredible pieces..

All three shows were a real pleasure to present to the art hungry crowds last Saturday. We're happy to say that all these works can STILL BE SEEN here at the gallery!! Swing by and say hello - we're open YEAR ROUND, and always have spectacular local works on display.

A trillion thanks to the organizers of Nocturne this year, for pulling this mega festival together once again. How wonderful it is to remind everyone that Art can be FUN, transformative, AND INCLUSIVE!!!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


You've likely all heard about the BIG Art event this weekend? Yes, it's almost time for Nocturne. (Youppiiiiiieeee! It's Happening THIS Saturday! 6pm- 12am!) and we'll be starting the lengthy installation process today, in preparation for this incredible event. In keeping with our retro robot theme by Ed Beals and Nick Brunt, we've asked local artists Emma and Liam Travers to supply us with a selection of their fantastic lego Jewelery; These colourful and interactive pieces are begging to be played with while worn, and can fit different lego components to build out from their original form.

Pretty cool eh? We certainly thought so. And let me tell you, it get's even cooler....  We were truly blown away when we had come to realize that the creators (Emma and Liam) 
are only 14 & 12 years of age!! Woah.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

New Jewelry: Part One (Tara Campbell)

We've recently received a treasure box from Tara Campbell, filled with fun and shiny new pieces of costume jewelry.  Would you like to see what has arrived? Well, without spoiling too many surprises, here's a small glimpse at what's in store. Whether you're in the mood for kitch or something delicate and feminine, Tara has just the thing for you! 

 Make sure you check the blog tomorow - I'll be posting pictures from a new 
jewelery making duo, that will surely impress you all!